January 29, 2011, 2:12 AM — The bombing that killed 35 people at an airport in Moscow, Russia, on Monday shocked the world.
But another mass tragedy was averted on New Year's Eve, thanks to a spam message sent to a female terrorist who reportedly intended to detonate a suicide belt in a packed Red Square.
From London's Telegraph:
A "Black Widow" suicide bomber planned a terrorist attack in central Moscow on New Year's Eve but was killed when an unexpected text message set off her bomb too early, according to Russian security sources.
Security sources believe a spam message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her but nobody else.
She was at her Moscow safe house at the time getting ready with two accomplices, both of whom survived and were seen fleeing the scene.
The Telegraph goes on to explain that Islamist terrorists in Russia "often use cheap unused mobile phones as detonators." The devices typically are turned off until right before the planned suicide bombing. Russian security experts said that, in this case, the terrorists failed to follow best practices.
She won't make that mistake again.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.